While the Jaguar E-Type is regarded by many as the most beautiful sports car of all time, that doesn’t mean people aren’t afraid to put their own mark on it. Take, for example, the owner of a ’68 Series 1 4.2 roadster, which is to be stretched by 4.5” during a restoration carried out by Classic Motor Cars Ltd (CMC) in Bridgnorth, England.
The US owner, Paul Branstad, has named his XKE “the Kaizen”, taken from one of Toyota’s founding principles, where Kaizen means to “understand the imperative to make continuous improvements and then get to work.” Branstad gave it this name because he thinks the original Jaguar designer, Malcolm Sayer, would approve of what he’s doing to the car while preserving its essence.
“The stretched E-Type I have conceived sits between the Series I and the subsequent vehicles produced after the merger and formation of British Leyland, when the design of the cars underwent several transformations as a consequence of cuts in production costs and the need for more space that resulted in the Series II 2+2 and Series III V12,” Branstad explained.
Nick Goldthorp from CMC said, “This is something we’ve never been done before. Our client wanted the interior legroom of a Series 3 V12 E-Type but the aesthetics of a Series 1. We’re going to add 4.5”, which will give an additional 1” if required. The V12 was actually 9” longer than a Series I but a lot of the additional room was behind the seats as storage and isn’t required on our project. By adding 4.5” to the length we will be able to retain the look of the Series 1 and turn this E-Type into a unique car.”
The roofline will also be raised by 1.25” above the driver’s head, and the trunk floor lowered to accommodate a 20-gallon fuel tank and wider spare wheel since the car will be fitted with 16” wire wheels.
The car will also receive a host of CMC upgrades including air conditioning, power steering, brakes, five-speed transmission and suspension.
CMC began the restoration in mid-July and expects to have completed it by the end of September 2013 for export back to the USA.